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- By Andy Smith
Plans for HS2’s new interchange station in Solihull, West Midlands, have been approved by the local council.
The application for the station, surrounding landscape and public real, along with an automated people mover, was approved by Solihull council.
The station’s design makes use of renewable technologies, and will use natural ventilation, daylight, harvested rainwater and solar energy to cut carbon in operation.
The automated people mover will cover a 2.3km route, linking to the NEC, Birmingham international station and Birmingham airport,
HS2 says that it will carry up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a service every three minutes.
HS2’s stations director Matthew Botelle said: “We’re extremely pleased to receive approval for the design of Interchange station, which will be net-zero carbon in operation, and adopts the latest eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies. The operation of our stations will play a key role in the UK’s fight against climate change and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The station recently became the first rail station in the world to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at design stage, which puts it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “HS2 has got a critical role to play in the West Midlands’ economic recovery by driving investment and helping to provide tens of thousands of jobs. I am therefore delighted that just weeks after we saw the bridge installed over the M42, the project has taken another step forward with the approval of the plans for Interchange station. Given the climate emergency the West Midlands is facing, it is also great to see how eco-friendly these plans are.
Next steps include continuing to work with SMBC and stakeholders on maximising the development opportunities around the site, awarding the construction partner contract in 2022, and construction is planned to start in 2024.